Kindle Oasis review: Great device but battery issue makes you feel small

By: | Updated: May 12, 2016 9:53 AM

A thin and light Kindle which is comfortable to hold for long hours. It even has dedicated buttons to effortlessly turn the page

There are page flip buttons on the side, but they work whichever way you hold this Kindle. There are page flip buttons on the side, but they work whichever way you hold this Kindle.

There is no point talking about the convenience of a Kindle anymore. Everyone who loves reading books owns one or aspires to have one in their hands in the near future. As someone who loves books but doesn’t get the time to read as many as I want, I can tell you that any Kindle is a convenience. But is there a perfect Kindle? Well Amazon seems to have found its answer in the Kindle Oasis.

The Kindle Oasis is different. To start with, it is square. Then it is light and by light I mean really light if you keep the cover aside. And the cover is a part of the rig for it houses the extra battery as well as the charging port.

What is good?

All features in the new design come with benefits. The square shape and the wedge when you remove the cover give this Kindle a good grip. There are page flip buttons on the side, but they work whichever way you hold this Kindle. The buttons can even be customised depending on how you hold the device, left or right handed.

The display is quite crisp and easy on the eye. It can also become quite bright if needed. Coupled with the new UI (user interface) it looks very modern. You can now execute purchases from the Kindle itself. The Oasis review unit with me was the 3G version and I used it to buy the Sialkot Saga while sitting in a flight readying to take off for Mumbai. The experience was not so great, maybe because of the patchy network in the airport. But the fact that you can do this now is a big advantage, for earlier I would have had to do this on my phone.

The Kindle homepage UI has changed and now it shows the best choices for me from stores as well as based on my purchase behaviour. Amazon claims this Kindle will last months with the cover on. Other Kindles last weeks on a full charge. Obviously I could not check the months claim, but the battery pack on the cover should be able to see you through at least a month of casual reading for sure. But remember, the device itself has a battery smaller than other Kindles.

What is not so good?

There is always a trade off when you opt for a thin form factor. For a device like a Kindle a smaller battery that is necessary for a thin body is almost unacceptable. And that is why they thought of this cover with the battery. However, that means the battery on the device sans the cover is not that great. It gave me just a couple of hours with the Sialkot Saga before the battery dropped to ‘very low’.

This Kindle has no existence without the cover. It needs it to charge as well as to retain the charge. It is almost like a power bank. Amazon could have been a bit more clever about how to manage this, using the power on the pack before draining the device itself.

I got the feeling the device battery drains faster when the 3G is on. Given the state of our networks this is not very surprising. So it might be a good idea to switch off the 3G when you don’t really need it. And there will always be the question: could they have given more at this price?

Should you buy?

This is a great new Kindle, but one that charges a big premium for this greatness. Your urge to drop a few grams from an older Kindle like the Paperwhite has to be so strong that you are willing to pay a premium that is many times the price of the older one. I am quite happy with my Paperwhite. Thank you.

* Estimated street price: Rs 23,999

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